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The primary goal of the CTHB is to promote the health of trees native to South Africa through the use of biotechnology. To accomplish this, CTHB projects typically consider the pathogens and pests that are associated with native trees and woody hosts. The CTHB also explores the possible effects that factors such as climate change, society, natural forest health and plant genetics may have on the health of native woody resources and ecosystems.

The CTHB is hosted by the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) at the University of Pretoria. Within FABI it is intimately linked to the Tree Protection Cooperative Programme (TPCP), a research programme that has a track record of more than two decades in dealing with the pests and diseases of commercially important forestry species.

The CTHB is structured as a virtual Centre of Excellence that conducts scientific research via a collaborative network, with the node of the network represented by researchers at UP. In addition to the UP group, this network involves researchers and their postgraduate students from other Higher Education Institutions in South Africa. These institutions include the Agricultural Research Council, University of Stellenbosch, University of Cape Town, University of the Witwatersrand, University of the Free State and Rhodes University.

New Publications

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Linnakoski R, Mahilainen S, Harrington A, Vanhanen H, Eriksson M, Mehtätalo L, Pappinen A, Wingfield MJ. (2016) Seasonal succession of fungi associated with Ips typographus beetles and their phoretic mites in an outbreak region of Finland. PLoS ONE 11(5):e0155622. 10.1371/journal.pone.0155622 PDF
McTaggart AR, van der Nest MA, Steenkamp ET, Roux J, Slippers B, Shuey LS, Wingfield MJ, Drenth A. (2016) Fungal Genomics Challenges the Dogma of Name-Based Biosecurity. PLoS Pathogens 12(5):e1005475. 10.1371/journal.ppat.1005475 PDF
Linnakoski R, Jankowiak R, Villari C, Kirisits T, Solheim H, de Beer ZW, Wingfield MJ. (2016) The Ophiostoma clavatum species complex: a newly defined group in the Ophiostomatales including three novel taxa. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek :1-32. 10.1007/s10482-016-0700-y
Wondafrash M, Slippers B, Garnas J, Roux G, Foit J, Langor DW, Hurley BP. (2016) Identification and genetic diversity of two invasive Pissodes spp. Germar (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in their introduced range in the southern hemisphere. Biological Invasions 10.1007/s10530-016-1159-5
Lee DH, Roux J, Wingfield BD, Barnes I, Wingfield MJ. (2016) New host range and distribution of Ceratocystis pirilliformis in South Africa. European Journal of Plant Pathology 10.1007/s10658-016-0933-7